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Assassin’s Creed: Unity could be the best stabathon to date

Tuesday, 1st April 2014 08:04 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Assassin’s Creed: Unity has only barely been announced, but that hasn’t stopped us wildly theorising about what Ubisoft has so far up its sleeve that it’s reluctant to do more than spill a few details.

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Last year, just when I thought I’d lost my taste for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, along came Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. Yes, the magic Assassin’s outfit is kind of silly. Yes, it’s sort of weirdly written. Yes, it goes on for about 400 hours and nobody needs that shizzle. But no, I don’t give a shit, because Kenway is awesome, Kidd is terrific, sailing my ship is the best thing ever and the next-gen oceans are so pretty I now kind of want to cry every time I look at a PS3 or Xbox 360 game.

Now that it has me on board again (my Abstergo hoodie and eagle peak dressing gown are back in high rotation, yes), what’s Ubisoft going to do next? Thanks to a leak we know a few details, apparently ahead of an anticipated E3 reveal (good on you for just rolling with it, Ubi). Assassin’s Creed: Unity is set in Paris during the French Revolution, is a next-gen only release, and has been in the works for three years.

In a spirit of optimism, we’ve put together a list of all the things that make us pretty hopeful that Unity is going to be badass.

Lots of people die. Although it’s been easy to forget it in recent instalments, what with the base building, item collection, ship sailing and what-not, Assassin’s Creed is a series about stealthily killing people. You know what the French Revolution is full of? People being killed. This is a match made in heaven. I’m looking forward to saving popular heroes from the guillotine and gathering vital intel, of course, but mainly I’m excited about helping Corday murder Marat in his bathtub.

It’s next-gen only. Black Flag 4 was kind of incredible on PS4 and Xbox One, but can you imagine how good it could have been if Ubisoft hadn’t had to build it to a scale compatible with the older generation of consoles? Larger load-free areas! More detailed assets! Fancy-pants effects! If Unity doesn’t make passionate, determined and skilful love to your eyeballs at all times we shall be deeply surprised.

Next-gen grunt and Ubisoft’s French pride may result in a Paris more real than any video game city before it.

Ubisoft is a French company. Lead development studio Ubisoft Montreal is French-Canadian, but Ubisoft prime is French and you can just bet you shiny little boot buttons that it has drawn out all the stops for this one in honour of its homeland. That in conjunction with the next-gen only thing likely means Paris will live and breathe as we’ve never seen in an Assassin’s Creed game before, and maybe in gaming in general. InFamous: Second Son’s Seattle is probably the best city we’ve seen so far, and I have a feeling Ubi can out do Sucker Punch. Let’s all be thankful that rumoured smell peripheral never surfaced, actually; history in general smelled really bad.

Black Flag was so much better-received than Assassin’s Creed 3. Both Assassin’s Creed 3 and Black Flag sold really well for Ubisoft, but various rumblings it made after the release of the third game showed the publisher wasn’t happy with its reception. There are things to love about the third numbered entry in the series, but it attracts a lot of hate, too. Ubisoft busted a gut getting Black Flag out for a cross-gen launch, and while its much-praised naval focus was probably in the works for a long time, the fourth entry shows clear signs of refinement sparked by criticisms of the third. That shows the publisher can react and adapt, and with a whole extra year to do so, Unity is likely to have made even more significant improvements.

The title’s a bit obscure. Why isn’t this Assassin’s Creed 5, you may be wondering? Well, us too. There are a couple of theories: the least interesting one is that it will be, a few months down the track at official reveal. The next-to-least interesting is that Ubisoft’s naming conventions were thrown out the window when it hurried to disassociate itself from Assassin’s Creed 3 by hurriedly slapping a “4″ on Black Flag, and now it doesn’t give any shits whatsoever. The next is that Unity doesn’t get a number because it’s not a traditional series entry, following the regular formula, but a, a, a – well, let’s say, a persistent online multiplayer world with RPG progression and massive world events. Or something. I will lose my shit if this happens, probably buy another hoodie.

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The story was planned out ages ago. Bless Assassin’s Creed 4 and its little cotton socks, but nobody seemed to really dig the meta-narrative this time, perhaps because we all spend quite enough time lurking in corridors avoiding doing any actual work. Meanwhile, the franchise does have quite a – let me find a suitable adjective – existent meta-narrative, and with the closing of Desmond’s story it’s definitely time to kick off another arc. We know Ubisoft has been teasing Unity since Brotherhood, so hopefully Unity’s meta-story is a bit more involved than “oooh, a new, unexplained baddie”.

In short, we’re pretty excited about this one. We’ll learn much more about Assassin’s Creed: Unity at E3 2014, where Ubisoft is no doubt looking forward to having a big reveal to make as opposed to the platform exclusive demonstrations of previous years.

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9 Comments

  1. mistermogul

    For the love of god Ubisoft, please lose the pointless Abstergo bullshit….

    #1 4 months ago
  2. TheKeyPit

    @mistermogul I hope they’ll keep it going.

    #2 4 months ago
  3. TheKeyPit

    …but they should drop the multiplayer or make a whole new experience. I’ve enjoyed the mp in AC:B and AC:R, played it a bit in AC3 and lost complete interest in AC4 (Should’ve done naval-combat-multiplayer in that one).

    #3 4 months ago
  4. unacomn

    Maybe I’m being pranked by an April fools joke, but this is a terrible article.

    You’re basing your entire assumption that it will be “the best” on absolutely no actual information about the game. Just assumptions that even if they are true, still don’t make the game any better than the preceding one. Like, at all. AC4 had the worst mission design since AC1, a cobbled together structure, more roadblocks in its open world than ever, an AI that failed on every level and a gimped multiplayer mode. The series needs a major revamp of many of it systems in order to become good again.

    Also, Ubi Montreal may be French-Canadian, but that doesn’t give them some magical insight about the Paris of 300 years ago, and it’s also being made by about 4 studios spread across the globe. It’s like saying “Hey, you know, this game is set in Italy, so we can half-ass it. Now, if there’s ever one set in Paris, sure we’ll bring our A-game.” That’s not how multi-national corporations work.

    This article offers no criticism, no feedback, nothing that speaks about what should be improved, what lacks, what works, what doesn’t.

    This is just a marketing fluff piece, and I expect better from this site.

    #4 4 months ago
  5. Edo

    Or …….wait for it…………………..it can be the worst………….brilliant article.

    #5 4 months ago
  6. Luciferous

    @TheKeyPit Same here, I enjoyed the vague ghost in the machine stuff going on with Juno and Abstergo Entertainment, the idea of one of the first civilisation getting a body back and going bat shit crazy is appealing.

    I also like that Bloom from Watch_dogs is mentioned placing the games in the same universe.

    I just hope Watch_Dogs has mentions of Abstergo… Hell why not have the virus in Division be an Abstergo bioweapon…. Oooooh Ubi!

    #6 4 months ago
  7. Gheritt White

    You guys are such pessimists. Personally, the French Revolution has been my single most anticipated era for the series to visit since the very first game – it just makes so much sense, especially when you take into account how neatly the Reign of Terror and the Thermidorian Reaction fit into the series’ established lore.

    So long as this isn’t some kind of persistent online multiplayer experience, I think it could *easily* the best entrant in the series to date, if only from a narrative perspective.

    Seriously, I have high hopes for this one. Will most likely be the first AC I’ve got as D1P since Revelations.

    #7 4 months ago
  8. fearmonkey

    Get rid of the tired and old AC gameplay like follow the conversation and stay in the circle, and chase the guy quests. I find those so annoying and not all that fun. Give us a sneak mode please, and not just hide in the bushes.

    #8 4 months ago
  9. Armitage Shanks

    Is this the Xbox one one,or the Xbox one?

    #9 4 months ago

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